El Vez review image

El Vez


121 S 13th St, Philadelphia
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A trip to El Vez kind of feels like a ski trip you go on just to take some videos in front of the mountains, sit in front of the fire, and never actually hit the slopes. The Midtown Village spot has a solid atmosphere–brightly colored walls, a photo booth in the center of the dining room, and a shiny bicycle hanging over the bar. But it’s a place that you can only really rely on for mediocre Mexican food. 

That being said, we get why it’s one of the more popular places in the city. Any guacamole you try here can be slathered, coated, and plopped onto any entree and the dish will be upgraded. Try the bazooka limon–it’s peppery, has bits of pistachios in it, and the way the goat cheese blends with the avocado makes it one of the creamiest things you can add to any plate here. 

El Vez review image

They have some other good things like buttery sweet corn empanadas, but you should avoid the enchiladas. They get no real memorable flavor from the mole or tomato sauces they’re drenched in, and you're better off focusing on their quesadilla dripping in chihuahua cheese. 

Most entrees here range from $25-$30 so it’s not an ideal spot to come and try a few plates and cocktails with a person you hardly know. But it can work for a few situations, like when you need somewhere to start your night before heading over to Vango—or for a fun night where you want to take endless selfies in their photo booth for your friend’s birthday.

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Food Rundown

Sweet Corn and Poblano Empanadas

This warm flaky pouch of gooey Oaxaca cheese and diced poblano peppers oozes perfectly when you bite into it. The sweetness of the corn battles with the heat from the pepper, and they’re the best starter on the menu.

Tuna Tostadas

These discs are one of our favorite tortilla-based dishes here. The mix of cubed tuna, avocado slices, onion, and smoky chipotle mayo is pretty light and good enough that you could eat a plate of these and call it a night.

Taco Tasting Platter

For $26 dollars, you can get all their tacos greatest hits: chicken, steak, carnitas, mahi, and árabes. Like all the tacos here, the meat is tender but it's a small amount (the shrimp taco rarely has more than one shrimp in it). But, if you get the platter, you’ll get to try the best tacos they offer and it'll be more than enough to be your entire meal.

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